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TexasCobra

Bird call Central Texas 78070

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I'm not entirely sure these are birds. They may be contact calls from foxes.

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Although I admit part of me wants it to be Texas's first record of Limpkin 😂

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Thank you for the reply, Liam.  I would not rule out the Limpkin.  Texas has hundreds of miles of coastal salt marsh.  The Limpkin is noisy enough and stranger sightings have been recorded.  I remember one spring when a rufous hummingbird took up residence near the Smithsonian Museum on the National Mall.  That event made the front page of the Washington Post.  The bird should have been taking the migration route from Mexico along the Pacific coast to Canada and Alaska.  Locally, more than one rufous has visited my nectar feeder here in Central Texas through the months from November through March even when overnight temps drop into the twenties.  That makes me happy.  I can photograph hummingbirds in every month of the year.

The call I recorded took place like this.  I was in the house behind doors and windows closed against the Texas heat.  I was afraid some neighbor's dog had been chained up outside with inadequate water.  One neighbor neglected a dog in that way.  The dog died.  I swear that I will call the county sheriff's office if I discover a similar offense.  I stepped out of the study onto the upstairs deck.  The call I recorded on my Sony compact camera did not resemble any sound I have heard from a dog or a coyote.  I have never seen a fox in this part of Texas.  Because the call was regular and took the form of two pitches I thought it most likely was a bird call.  It was very loud and very regular.  I had never heard such a sound in forty years of residence in various Texas locations. 

 

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What kind of habitat was this? Sounds like there's water. Limpkin are apple snail specialists and are unlikely to show up in areas that don't have this requirement. There has been an increase of Limpkin vagrancy in the last 4-5 years (especially in the last two) due to the spread of an invasive apple snail species.

I don't think this is one individual, by the way. My guess is this is some sort of contact call between two individuals (one higher pitched, one lower pitched). At one point in the recording you can hear both notes occurring simultaneously (right at 1:30). Regarding Limpkin, it should be noted they often, if not usually, show up in pairs, and vocalize at night.

I'm interested to see where this goes. I may share the recording with some friends and see what they think, if that's alright with you.

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Well I have now listened to enough Limpkin recordings to make my ears bleed and I haven't come across any calls that are so intermittent and low in pitch, so I'm pretty sure that can be ruled out.

But now I'm deathly curious as to what this call is. I live in central TX and have never heard this noise before.

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How about Eastern screech owl?  I agree with your observation about two individuals communicating.  I also hear distinct bill snaps that are a characteristic of the screech owl.

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Habitat:  This is the view from my upper deck looking north toward the Guadalupe River two miles from the house.  You will see the peaks of the Twin Sisters near Blanco some 17 miles away.  I do have an owl box that I constructed in order to attract a barred owl.  I do not think it is inhabited but I will definitely check it again.  The water sound comes from the hot tub.

Twin Sisters PeaksWildlife, Water, and Stone

 

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Posted (edited)
16 hours ago, TexasCobra said:

 I remember one spring when a rufous hummingbird took up residence near the Smithsonian Museum on the National Mall.  That event made the front page of the Washington Post.  The bird should have been taking the migration route from Mexico along the Pacific coast to Canada and Alaska. 

 

A couple of years back I was on another birding website and I found a nesting pair of rufous hummingbirds on my property.  I was excited about it and wanted to share.  The feedback I got was crushing.  I was called a liar and asked to leave.  They raked me over the coals.  I didn't have a camera at the time and I vowed that I would never be without one again.  It was pretty bad.  I wonder if those people read that article and thought about my nesting pair of beauties.  I hope so.  😛

p.s.  I'm in New Mexico

Edited by Totah Sam
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58 minutes ago, Totah Sam said:

A couple of years back I was on another birding website and I found a nesting pair of rufous hummingbirds on my property.  I was excited about it and wanted to share.  The feedback I got was crushing.  I was called a liar and asked to leave.  They raked me over the coals.  

Peer mail me the name of that site, would you?  I want avoid it.

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I am sorry you were unfairly trashed by the ignorant know-it-alls.  The rufous is a rolling stone.  It has even been reported across the Bering Strait in Russia!😍

I had a similar experience when I reported a sighting of a green parakeet in Austin.  I was stuck in traffic and there were three or four examples among more familiar species hopping around the lawn of a house not more than thirty feet from my window.  I obtained a long and detailed observation.  The weather on that March day was extremely windy and partly cloudy.   Many accused me of confusing the green parakeet with the native colony of monk parakeet.  I know a monk parakeet when I see one.  The bird I reported was leaner, more drab colored, and more monochrome (no yellow markings) than the monk parakeet.  I do not think it is improbable that a green parakeet could traverse the 311 miles from McAllen to Austin.  From that experience I have learned to carry a very capable digital compact camera in my pocket.  I should probably stash a second compact in my usual ride.  

https://txtbba.tamu.edu/species-accounts/green-parakeet/

 

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I am sorry you were unfairly trashed by the ignorant know-it-alls.  The rufous is a rolling stone.  It has even been reported across the Bering Strait in Russia!😍

I had a similar experience when I reported a sighting of a green parakeet in Austin.  I was stuck in traffic and there were three or four examples among more familiar species hopping around the lawn of a house not more than thirty feet from my window.  I obtained a long and detailed observation.  The weather on that March day was extremely windy and partly cloudy.   Many accused me of confusing the green parakeet with the native colony of monk parakeet.  I know a monk parakeet when I see one.  The bird I reported was leaner, more drab colored, and more monochrome (no yellow markings) than the monk parakeet.  I do not think it is improbable that a green parakeet could traverse the 311 miles from McAllen to Austin.  From that experience I have learned to carry a very capable digital compact camera in my pocket.  I should probably stash a second compact in my usual ride.  

 

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Eastern Screech-Owl is a possibility. They have quite a diversity of call, but if this is one it is a call I haven't heard before. I'll go listen to more recordings (for reference, I use Macaulay Library online to listen to recordings).

 

Ironically, someone reported a Limpkin window strike in Travis County yesterday. Not many details nor descriptive information so who knows if it was correctly identified...

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